The contamination control expert has completed a metal-free cleanroom in Amsterdam with walls built entirely from HPL
Interflow has finished a metal-free cleanroom for the Shell Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam.
The Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam (ETCA) is one of Shell's three largest research centres worldwide. New ideas, technology and decades of experience come together here to meet the energy needs of today and tomorrow. The Geochemistry Experimentation department will investigate a wide range of both geological and experimental samples using an advanced mass spectrometer.
This mass spectrometer measures tiny but useful differences in the chemical composition of metals naturally occurring in the sample material, with the aim of developing and optimising current and new energy sources. For this type of analysis, it is important that the measured metals actually come from the sample and not from the working environment, which is why there was a need for a metal-free cleanroom. However, these don't happen often.
In order to build the cleanrooms metal-free, many elements are made of plastic, such as door handles, door fittings, screws and hinges. The walls are built entirely from HPL. The entire air treatment installation, from air handling unit and ductwork to grilles, is also completely made of plastic
Similar functionality in the Netherlands, at the NIOZ on Texel, was built by Interflow in 2012.
After the design and build agreement between Shell and Interflow was signed at the end of 2019, a design was not only made for the cleanrooms, but also for special LAF cabinets, “wet chemical stations”. Besides the fact that these had to be completely metal-free, there were also requirements for extreme resistance to acids that are necessary to dissolve the rock and liquid samples.
In order to build the cleanrooms metal-free, many elements are made of plastic, such as door handles, door fittings, screws and hinges. The walls are built entirely from HPL. The entire air treatment installation, from air handling unit and ductwork to grilles, is also completely made of plastic. Gijs Koolen, project manager at the STCA on behalf of Sodexo: “The custom-made design of the walls and wet chemical stations of Interflow, among other things, is of very high quality and specific for the desired application”.
Due to COVID-19, the project has come to a standstill for a while, but the project was fully completed in the week before Christmas 2021.
Gijs Koolen is very satisfied with both the process and the end result.
“The collaboration was very pleasant. Problems inevitably arise with such a special project, but they were always handled well. Quite an achievement by the team to deliver it within budget and schedule,” Koolen said.
The business group is now working on starting up the research work of which the cleanroom is part!